Construction law allows borrowers to get construction loans at higher rates than other types of loans, with some lenders even allowing borrowers to use up to 10% of the principal and interest on a loan to pay down the principal balance, according to a study published Monday by a nonprofit.
The study was conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Consumer Law Center.
The Consumer Financial Freedom Act of 2010, which became law in March, gave borrowers some of the most lenient construction loans available, allowing borrowers who owe more than $500,000 to get up to a 30% reduction in principal and an additional 10% reduction on a fixed-rate loan to offset the cost of the loan.
The law also gave lenders the ability to defer payment of a principal and a 10% interest rate for borrowers who earn less than $150,000 a year.
In addition to the 30% down payment, borrowers must also pay a 10.5% down rate on a new loan and a 3.9% down on a home purchase.
The new law also allowed borrowers to consolidate a loan into one of several smaller loans, but lenders are limited to doing so if the consolidation is done on the basis of the borrower’s income and the loan size is below $250,000.
The law also provides borrowers with some additional protections.
A borrower can only consolidate into a mortgage with a total loan amount of $250 for a home loan and $250 to a new home purchase loan.
It is also limited to consolidating a loan that is under $250 million and under $100 million for a loan and no purchase.
For borrowers who have less than one mortgage on their home, the law provides some additional protection.
The borrower can still consolidate into two mortgages with a combined total loan size of $200,000, but the total loan must be less than or equal to the loan that the borrower has already taken out.
Borrowers who take out loans in a homebuyer and refinancing program can also consolidate into three mortgages with the combined total amount of a loan of $150 million or less.
For a loan up to $500 million, the total amount cannot exceed the loan of a home buyer, and for a $500-million loan, the loan cannot exceed a home buyer.
The rules also prohibit refinancing a loan with more than one seller.
For refinancing to be eligible, the lender must first complete a full loan modification.
The rule also allows borrowers who take on more than 50% of a property’s market value to get a loan from a third-party financing company, as long as the total market value of the property is below the borrower and the company has a history of doing business with the borrower.
This could be an opportunity for a lender to lower the loan rate, said Adam Levitan, the director of consumer advocacy at the National Association of Realtors, which represents the nation’s largest mortgage brokers.
“That gives them the ability, when they see a lot of properties going up, to go, ‘We can go lower and get a lot more value for the loan, and we’re going to go down to lower rates,'” he said.
Levitan added that if a borrower defaults, lenders could be able to offer a $100,000 down payment instead of the $250-million down payment.
“The downside is they would have to go to a lower interest rate and take on additional debt, but they could still get the same amount of value,” he said, adding that the lenders would be able reduce the total interest they charge on the loan from 25% to 5%.
The rule requires lenders to report any reduction in loan rates that occur during the loan terms of a borrower.
The rule also requires lenders and brokers to submit monthly reports on their loan performance, including loan-to-value, loan-subsidy and loan-repayment ratios.
The reporting requirements for both are set to expire in 2019.